Minister gives early details of quake recovery plan

6:35 am on 11 September 2010

The Government has given early details of a recovery plan for quake-hit Cantabrians.

The Minister for Earthquake Recovery, Gerry Brownlee, says he has spent two days working with the Earthquake Commission, insurers, banks and local government to formulate the initial plan.

Claimants whose buildings are structurally sound but who have minor contents damage will begin to be paid out from early next week.

The process for claims higher than $10,000 is still to be finalised, but Mr Brownlee says it's important not to rush.

Those whose claims involve only chimney damage are being offered a heat pump as a replacement.

$11 million donated so far

Donations to the earthquake recovery fund now total about $11 million, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said on Friday after a briefing with representatives from key agencies.

That figure includes $3.5 million donated to the Red Cross, the Government's contribution of $5 million to the mayoral fund and pledges from businesses.

In addition, Fletcher Building has given the city council a promissory note of $1 million to go towards a fund for rebuilding heritage buildings.

It's not yet clear if the $1 million will be in cash or kind.

Much of city open for business

Both the Mayor and the Chamber of Commerce are keen to assure people that much of Christchurch is open for business. They say tourists should not avoid coming to the city and they want locals to get back out spending.

Cordons remain in small sections of central Christchurch and a 30 km/h speed limit is in place.

Police meanwhile are setting up special teams to patrol the areas hardest hit by last Saturday's earthquake.

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff says many people are worried about the potential looting of unoccupied homes and businesses.